About Us

Employee Spotlight

(left to right) Administrative Staff Karen Lidster, Olivia DiGiovine, Heather Wolven, and Marianne McGlone

 

  • Heather Wolven – As Office Manager at EPT, Heather’s many roles include responsibilities for human resources activities, payroll, bookkeeping, management of the practice’s outside billing agency, and other administrative duties. “Though I’m usually hidden away in an office, I love to see our therapists and aides interacting with patients,” Heather shared.  “Patients often arrive here uncomfortable and in pain but definitely improve over time and it’s exciting to see my colleagues helping our patients feel better.”  According to Heather, EPT embodies a sense of family, even as the practice has grown over the years.  “EPT is my home away from home,” confirmed Heather, who will celebrate her 17th year with Excellent Physical Therapy this January.  “It’s a warm, positive environment with caring staff members who really listen to patients, and our patients truly appreciate it.”

 

  • Karen Lidster – An Administrative staffer who’s been with EPT for 10 years, Karen handles many patient-related activities, from dealing with motor vehicle and worker’s compensation authorizations for personal injury for both of EPT’s offices and handling regular insurance authorizations for patients at the practice’s main office on Somerville Road to scheduling patient appointments and keeping track of patient paperwork and prescriptions. “I love all of our patients as well as the great atmosphere at Excellent Physical Therapy – we’re a close-knit office with our employees and patients,” Karen said.  “Our patients have been so supportive, are so happy to be here, and constantly tell us how much they appreciate our services,” added Karen, who takes pride in her colleagues’ physical therapy expertise.  “Here at the front desk, it’s always so great for us to be able to tell patients with confidence that they’ll be in great hands.”

 

  • Olivia DiGiovine – In her role as Administrative Assistant and Front Desk Receptionist at EPT’s Sports Rehab & Balance Center on Lamington Road (on and off since 2010 and full-time since 2016), Olivia is well known for her skills in greeting and scheduling patients, handling intake, interacting with insurance companies relative to patient benefits, and helping to coordinate the practice’s operations. “I love working with and learning from our clinicians to help move our patients forward and keep them in great shape,” said Olivia, who additionally supports her colleagues by ensuring that medical imaging, prescriptions, and patient information are ready and that therapists have all of the documentation they need by the time the patient comes in for their visit.  “At EPT, we take patient care very seriously and are proud of the one-on-one, personalized care we provide,” she said.  “We’re always there for our patients and are happy to help them in whatever way they need us.

 

  • Marianne McGlone – Soon to celebrate her fourth anniversary with EPT, Marianne covers a number of functions for the practice.  Among those, “I ensure that all treatment charges are ready to be pushed out to our billing company for processing by insurance companies,” she said.  “I also work to reconcile what our billing company sends out to insurance companies, update our patient database each month, submit insurance authorizations for EPT’s Sports Rehab & Balance Center on Lamington Road, and monitor all of our Medicare patients’ accounts for physical therapy maximums.” Marianne is especially proud of EPT’s team of highly-qualified therapists, whom she feels listen to patients closely and treat the whole patient using a one-on-one, personalized approach.  “I love the working environment here because everyone is just like family; all of our employees get along so well and are such a special group,” she said.  “I also love interacting with our wonderful patients,” she added.  “It’s like seeing old friends walk through the door.”




Staci Wojcik, DPT

As a dancer who studied ballet, modern, hip hop, and tap and performed in local performances of The Nutcracker from the age of nine through 18, Lebanon native Staci Wojcik, DPT was no stranger to the reality of injuries and rehabilitation.  "I was always very aware of body movements, aches and strains, and the experience of pushing my body to the limits," shared Staci, 29, of the physical ups and downs associated with her cherished chosen sport.

Intrigued by the prospect of being a physical therapist for dancers in her late high school and early college years, Staci secured a degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in Applied Kinesiology from Rutgers in 2012.  She then worked as a Physical Therapy Aide, first at another practice and then at Excellent Physical Therapy beginning in 2012, all while pursuing her DPT degree, which she ultimately secured from Dominican College in New York in 2017.

Today, "I treat everything – from gait and balance issues to various orthopedic injuries and love to explore, learn, and gain experience," said Staci, who plans to specialize in conditions of the lower extremities, hips, knees, and ankles based on her background in ballet and sports.  "I love to help people continue doing the things they love."

Among Staci’s favorite parts of the job, "I love the broad range of people I get to meet, from kids to seniors, and the opportunity to hear their stories and journeys and help them get back to where they want to be," she said.  "In addition, all of my colleagues at Excellent Physical Therapy work so well together and are like a family, which makes it a joy to work here."

Staci also confirmed that the one-on-one atmosphere at Excellent Physical Therapy is both unique and beneficial for therapists and patients alike.  Having worked at and been exposed to other practices, “I love that patients have a more personal connection with their therapist here,” she said.  "It allows us to get to know each other better, understand the patient’s expectations, and truly help them through their injury and rehab, all factors which ultimately enhance the healing process." 



Ursula Meulener, DPT

While attending graduate school at Columbia for nutrition and debating between careers in physical therapy or dietetics, Ursula Meulener started working at Excellent Physical Therapy in 2000 as a Physical Therapy Aid and, according to Ursula, her decision was made. “I fell in love with physical therapy,” shared the 41-year-old New Providence resident, who went on to secure her Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University in 2004 and her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Widener University shortly thereafter.

Back at Excellent Physical Therapy since 2008, “I picked up primarily at EPT’s Gait & Balance Center as it opened and have gotten to tap into my experience in rehab, particularly with seniors,” said Ursula, who confirmed that she’s always loved working with the geriatric population. “I feel that seniors are underserved in some ways and deserve so much respect for their wisdom and life experience,” she said.

Among her specialties, Ursula provides expert gait and balance support to individuals dealing with such issues as joint replacements, arthritis, concussions, Parkinson’s disease, and MS. “I also provide rehab for those people with conditions related to the vestibular system – e.g., disorders affecting the inner ear or brain that result in balance deficits, dizziness, or vertigo. In these cases, we’ll employ a number of exercises to strengthen their vestibular system, including working on uneven or foam surfaces and having them turn their head and/or close their eyes to challenge their proprioception,” she said. “Another common disorder of the vestibular system is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which I can often quickly and easily address for patients by overseeing a specialized series of head and body movements.”

For Ursula, the close relationships she’s formed with both her patients and her colleagues is especially gratifying. “There’s such a comfortable, kind, and family-like atmosphere at Excellent Physical Therapy and it’s so wonderful to work with so many talented team members in such a collaborative environment,” she said. “Most of all, I truly cherish the one-on-one time with my patients and the opportunity to help them progress.”





Ashley Treich, PTA

Growing up in North Plainfield, Ashley Treich was always an athlete, playing field hockey, softball, and basketball throughout high school and continuing on to play field hockey at Ramapo College in Mahwah. Though she ultimately graduated with a degree in Business Management in 2009, “I remained interested in sports and the wellness world,” shared the 31-year-old Treich, a resident of Whitehouse Station.

In 2010, she joined Excellent Physical Therapy as a Physical Therapy Aid to see if she liked the field. “I did!” said Treich, who’s been with the practice for over eight years and went on to secure her degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) in 2013. “I enjoy having an array of different patients of all ages and dealing with a range of conditions, from post-operative, chronic, or acute situations and more,” she explained. “It’s exciting to interact with all different kinds of people and form relationships with them. It’s also refreshing to be part of such a wonderful team and office-based ‘family’ that works together so closely.”

Bringing strengths in multi-tasking and a background in athletics to her job, she said that her most recent role -- as mom to 15-month-old daughter Harper – has brought unexpected new perspective to her in a professional sense. “I now understand young moms with their back and neck issues!” laughed Treich, who loves to stay active and enjoys working out in her free time.

“Overall, I feel so lucky to have such great mentors and colleagues at Excellent Physical Therapy who provide such exceptional one-on-one manual care,” Treich confirmed. “I love working with our team and knowing that I’m helping people.”





Owner Spotlight

Lou DiGiovine, PT
Excellent Physical Therapy- Founder

A former high school baseball and football player, Maplewood native Lou DiGiovine PT completed the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s specialized program offered jointly with Kean College and became one of the Garden State’s first 18 students to graduate with a Physical Therapy (PT) degree in 1980. He started his professional career at Christ Hospital in Jersey City, where he gained a reputation for successfully treating complex spine, back, neck, and other conditions that often confounded other practitioners.  After owning and operating a private practice in Jersey City with two other colleagues for over a decade, DiGiovine went into business as a solo practitioner in August 1996 with his launch of Excellent Physical Therapy in Bedminster.

With EPT, DiGiovine has created a specialized facility which is well-equipped, staffed by seasoned experts, and supported by internal operating systems that reinforce consistent and excellent patient-focused care and the highest standard of care and ethics possible.

“Our name, Excellent Physical Therapy, is what we do, who we are, our Mission Statement, and our Standard of Care all wrapped up in one name for everyone to read and see every day," DiGiovine explained. “Excellent Physical Therapy represents the culmination of many years of education, training, and a clear vision dedicated to uncompromising true patient care.”

Now in his 38th year as a physical therapist and supported by a staff of two dozen specialists at two different locations in Bedminster, “we pride ourselves on the level of personalized ‘one-to-one,’ ‘hands-on’ patient care we provide on a daily basis,” DiGiovine said. “We always consider each patient's “special needs and concerns” when implementing their individual plan of treatment. Unlike many ‘managed care’ healthcare providers today who are driven primarily by patient volume and speed, EPT still allows for a full hour for each Initial Evaluation, offers private treatment rooms to enhance patient comfort, and ensures adequate staffing in order to deliver the highest level of personalized care available. We provide everything from pediatric therapy for kids and sports rehab for student athletes to gait and balance programs for seniors to help enhance their stability and strength, prevent falls, and maintain their independence,” DiGiovine said. “We also provide a full range of services for the broad adult population, addressing everything from simple sprains and strains to post-surgical rehab for shoulders, knees, and hips as well as spine, back, and neck issues and even jaw-related concerns like TMJ.”

A devoted fan of continuing education throughout his career, DiGiovine has developed specialties in the treatment of spinal conditions involving the back, neck, shoulders, and jaw as well as such areas as spine surgery rehab, upper quarter dysfunction, TMJ, hip dysfunction, sports rehab in general, and baseball pitcher's injuries and rehab in specific. Always up for the challenge of more complicated patient cases where he can use his vast experience, knowledge, and skills to make a difference, DiGiovine has found the field of PT endlessly rewarding for nearly four decades. “To be able to deliver quick, effective treatment that can drive an immediate change in a person’s life and make them feel better, both physically and emotionally, is incredibly gratifying,” he said.


Kelly Papa, PTA

Celebrating her 18th anniversary with Excellent Physical Therapy this May, Kelly is a Physical Therapy Assistant and one of the original members of the EPT team.  A 1990 graduate of Hamilton College who found herself drawn to physical therapy, Kelly earned her PTA degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1997.  “I started out volunteering in PT during college and loved the field,” shared Papa, a Long Valley resident who began her career working at a practice in Caldwell before joining the EPT team in 2000.

“In 2006, I had a patient with Parkinson’s disease and took several classes on gait and balance in order to be able to serve him better,” recalled Papa.  After other patients began needing and benefitting from the same service, she helped launch EPT’s unique Gait & Balance Program and has served as Clinical Supervisor of the program ever since.  “I took even more classes in the specialty and the program grew from there,” she said of the hundreds of patients who have successfully come through the program in the past 12 years.  “The more sedentary we are, the more our strength and balance decline, so the program is about keeping people moving in a safe and healthy way while having fun.”

Though Papa had been captain of her swim team in college and originally planned to specialize in treating fellow athletes, “my Parkinson’s patient was so interesting and helped me connect to a broader range of patients and especially seniors, a group I enjoy working with because I feel like I learn so much from them,” she said.  “Today, my wonderful patients and great colleagues are the things I love most about my job!”


Frank LaMorte, DPT

Celebrating his 20th anniversary with Excellent Physical Therapy this summer, Frank is a Clinical Supervisor and a proud original member of the EPT team.  A graduate of the University of Delaware with a BS in Physical Education Studies in 1998 and a subsequent Doctorate of Physical Therapy from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in 2003, Frank specializes in spine disorders, shoulder injuries, and post-surgical rehabilitation.  “I love treating the spine and shoulders and dealing with a broad range of clients who represent different ages, backgrounds, issues, and goals – from the high intensity of our younger athletes to the motivation and drive of our older patients,” he said.

Among Frank’s favorite aspects of working at EPT is the family atmosphere among staff members.  “The length of time our staff has been together shows in our level of teamwork and quality of care,” he said.  He also loves the practice’s uniquely personalized approach.  “We specialize in hands-on, manual therapy at EPT and I love getting to spend that one-on-one time with our patients – it’s the only way I know how to practice,” he said.  “To see someone come to us in pain and be able to positively impact them and restore their quality of life is so rewarding.”




Cheryl Arnold, MSPT

A dedicated member of the Excellent Physical Therapy team since the practice first opened 20 years ago, Cheryl, who earned her Masters of Science of Physical Therapy from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in 2001, specializes in “any issues associated with the bones or muscles,” conditions of the neck and back, and women’s health and has a unique understanding of the field of rehabilitation -- one borne from hard experience.  A lifelong athlete who played Division 2 soccer in college, “I rehabbed myself from a shoulder surgery as well as foot and ankle injuries over the years, so I fully understand the nature of injuries as well as the recovery process,” she said.  “Orthopedics and physical therapy are very close to my heart and have been my drive for over two decades.”

When not putting in long hours working with a loyal legion of both ongoing and new clients at EPT, the Clinton resident and avid equestrian owns three horses, plays both outdoor and indoor polo every week, and currently serves as Vice President of the Tinnicum Park Polo organization.  “Horses have been my passion since I was two years old and my parents gave me riding lessons for my 10th birthday hoping I would get it out of my system,” she laughed of the move, which only cemented her love for the sport.

When it comes to her patients, Cheryl said that the sweet rewards of “success” keep her endlessly energized and inspired.  “It’s exciting to go to a continuing education class in the field and come back with new pearls of wisdom or a new approach to treating clients,” she said of the constantly evolving practice of physical therapy.  “I love when we achieve our ultimate goal and are able to restore a patient back to normalcy and return them to living their best life,” she said.

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